France is on course to overtake Italy as the largest wine producing nation, according to new figures from the International Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV).

Click on the image to see a larger version. (Image: Annabelle Sing)

Hail may have returned to decimate vineyards in pockets of Burgundy and Languedoc-Rousillon this year, but France as a whole is set to produce 46m hectolitres of wine from the 2014 harvest – equivalent to more than 6bn bottles and around 10% more than the country produced in 2013.

That would see the country return to the summit of the wine producers’ league, according to newly released OIV figures, as depicted by the Decanter.com infographic above.

France’s nearest rival, Italy, is only set to make 44.4m hectolitres (hl) this year, 15% down on 2013, after rains hampered the growing season in the north of the country.

Europe’s third biggest wine power, Spain, is set to produce 37mhl this year, down from a bumper 45mhl last year. Elsewhere, New Zealand enjoyed record production this year, up by 29% on 2013 to 2.5mhl.

Globally, OIV figures suggest there slightly greater pressure on global wine supplies versus 12 months ago. Worldwide production for 2014 is projected to be down by 6% versus 2013, at 271mhl.

But, consumption is forecast to remain below that figure, at around 243m hectolitres, or around 32.3bn bottles.

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Written by Chris Mercer